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Mutation, Randomness, and Evolution$
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Arlin Stoltzfus

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780198844457

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198844457.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 July 2021

Climbing Mount Probable

Climbing Mount Probable

(p.135) Chapter 8 Climbing Mount Probable
Mutation, Randomness, and Evolution

Arlin Stoltzfus

Oxford University Press

Chapter 8 provides the formal basis to recognize biases in the introduction of variation as a cause of evolutionary biases. The shifting-gene-frequencies theory of the Modern Synthesis posits a “buffet” view in which evolution is merely a process of shifting the frequencies of pre-existing alleles, without new mutations. Within this theory, mutation is represented like selection or drift, as a “force” that shifts frequencies. Yet, within a broader conception of evolution, a second kind of causal process is required: an introduction process that can shift a frequency upwards from 0, which selection and drift cannot do. Abstract models demonstrate the influence of biases in the introduction process in one-step and multi-step adaptive walks. Such biases do not require mutation biases per se, but may arise from effects of development, and from the differential accessibility of alternative forms in abstract possibility-spaces.

Keywords:   population genetics, NK model, Yampolsky–Stoltzfus model, origin-fixation dynamics, parallel evolution, developmental bias

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